By Cheryl Colan

Hamster running in a wheel loses footing and is thrown.

Part of our collective pandemic-related fatigue comes from keeping up with frequent feature changes in the software we rely on almost daily. Little changes can throw you until you figure out what’s going on and adapt.

Google Meet has made some recent changes that had us scratching our heads here in the CTLE. We started having to manually admit anyone joining our Live Online Office Hours, and we’re now being asked whether we want to leave meetings or end them for everyone when we exit a meeting. So here’s what’s going on:

Security settings and Quick access

Screenshot: Dialog to admit someone to your meeting

Having to suddenly start manually admitting people is related to some new Google Meet security settings. Google is proactively attempting to prevent security issues (such as “zoom-bombing”) from happening in Google Meet. They’ve set things up so that external participants (anyone not signed in to the same domain — in our case, — as the meeting organizer can’t join a Meet unless they’re on the calendar invite or have been invited by in-domain participants. They have to “request to join” the meeting, and be accepted by a member of the host organization. This security setting is turned on by default.

If this level of security is not appropriate for your meeting, you can change this under Settings. To open Settings, select More Options (the 3 vertical dots icon in the lower right corner of your Meet window) and choose Settings (gear icon). Once you are in Settings, select Host controls on the left side of the dialog, and toggle Quick access on (the “switch” should be toward the right and its color will be green).

Screenshot: Quick access is off; click the toggle to turn it on.

What’s good is that if you turn Quick access on or off in recurring meetings that re-use the same meeting code, the setting will be saved for future meetings. You can read more about Quick access on Google Meet Help.

End meeting for all

We have also noticed when we leave a meeting we now have the option to end it or leave it running. This feature should be familiar if you use Webex or Zoom, but it’s fairly new to Google Meet. When the person who created the meeting leaves the video call, they’re presented the choice to leave the meeting active or end it for all participants. Choosing End meeting for all ends the meeting and automatically removes all participants.

This impacts Quick access. When the meeting ends for everyone, Quick access automatically switches off. If the same meeting link is used to restart the meeting, the meeting organizer would need to turn it back on to prevent having to manually admit participants. In fact, for a meeting that has been ended, participants can’t rejoin until the meeting organizer joins again, which restarts the meeting. You can read more about End meeting for all on Google Meet Help.

Keeping up with feature updates

Google keeps a running log of significant changes to Google Meet. You can always check their What’s new in Google Meet page to browse through their record of features and enhancements by month.

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